Potrero Avenue Walgreens to Remain Open
A rumor that the Walgreens located at 24th Street and Potrero Avenue is closing is false. According to the company’s corporate office, as well as the local manager, the store is staying open.
“At this time we have no plans to close or relocate the store,” said Phil Caruso, a Walgreens Company spokesperson. The store opened in February 1997; several residents said it plays an important role in the community.
“It’s such an accessible place and such an accessible area,” said Ap Arthor, a Potrero Avenue resident. “They’ve been here for years.” Arthor said the store is a good outlet to pick up household items, quickly get beauty supplies, and obtain prescriptions. She said a lot of community members would suffer if it closed. Carla Srrai, an area resident for 24 years, agreed that the community benefits from the store’s presence.
The 24th Street and Potrero Avenue store is within blocks of San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), and is a member of Calle24, an organization representing merchants, neighbors, nonprofits, and artists along 24th Street. “They’ve been a pretty good neighbor,” said Erick Argulo, Calle24 president. Argulo said the store employs local residents, pays a good salary and provides insurance. Closing the store would mean a loss of jobs.
According to Tristan Cook, SFGH and Trauma Center spokesperson, the hospital “has a great community partnership with Walgreens, and their pharmacy and store is well-used by our patients and staff.”
Argulo suggested that the source of the closure rumor may be confusing the 24th Street store with the 16th and Mission streets Walgreens. That store may be shuttered if a proposal to build two 10-story towers at the site is approved by the City. Argulo added that there’s significant opposition to that project.
One Wednesday afternoon at the 24th Street store customers, many of whom seemed to be English-as-a-second language speakers, were picking-up prescriptions, buying snacks, and purchasing household supplies. Bus stops flank each side of the store.
Walgreens has 60 stores in the Bay Area. The company operates 8,206 drug stores across the United States, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2011, Walgreens employed 247,000 people. The same year it held 20 percent of the retail prescription market, and filled 289 prescriptions per drugstore, per day, on average.
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